Last week, Bombardier demoed the new railcars for the Montreal Metro:
About 600 people were present for the unveiling at the Bombardier factory in La Pocatière — about 150 kilometres northeast of Quebec City — including Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and hundreds of Bombardier employees. The new wagons have more standing room, bigger windows, and it will be possible for passengers to walk from one train car to the next while the metro is in motion.
Of course, Montreal’s new trainsets will be an articulated design. That is now a standard feature for heavy-rail metros. Articulated trains have better passenger circulation, and allow for more space.
Here is a diagram showing how the articulated section will look like on Montreal’s trains:
And here is an actual photo of the new rolling stock:
Many other transit agencies across North America have adoped articulated trainsets. A partial list includes:
Toronto: The newest subway cars (Toronto “Rocket“) is a fully articulated train design. They are built by Bombardier Transportation with designs based on the company’s Movia family of trains.
Vancouver: Mark II ART rolling stock, manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, used for Skytrain.
Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic): I wonder how many are aware that the Dominican Republic has an impressive metro system? It uses articulated trains built by Alstom (based on the Metropolis design).
Panama City: Currently under construction, it will open in early 2014. Their system will also use the Alstom Metropolis design.
Conspicuously absent from this list is any transit agency in the United States. Transit planners in the US have a deep aversion to articulated trainsets. So-called 3rd world countries like Panama and the Dominican Republic get the best possible trains — whereas the US (richest and most technologically advanced country in the world) is still using crappy train designs from 40 years ago. And the US is paying more too!